Why Are You Still Here?

June 10, 2020
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Two years ago, in April 2018, a troubled young man drove a van erratically down Yonge Street in Toronto, Canada. He veered on and off the sidewalk, killing ten people and seriously injuring fourteen others. It was a terrible occurrence that I observed from my balcony in the residence where I live.

One of our residents, who has been a close friend ever since she and her husband moved here, had just left the pharmacy near our abode. If her timing had been just a few minutes different, she would have been the dead body lying on the sidewalk in front of the pharmacy.

Recalling the terrible incident with Lil, I posed the question, "Why are you still here?" Her reply was, "I guess I haven't yet completed all the work that God has for me to do."

Lil is a very spiritual person with a strong faith. She is one of the most helpful residents, always encouraging others and truly being a blessing to our home.

It immediately made me think of this verse:

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (KJV)

Some months ago, I was feeling sorry for myself and missing my wife, with whom I shared everything for more than six decades before she passed to her heavenly reward. A member of the staff was in my room and I expressed to her my desire to pack it in and join my wife.

Virgie quickly responded, "Mr. Walter, you can't. You must keep writing those devotionals. I have a little study group, and we use them for discussion."

When I mentioned this to our resident hairdresser, Rosa said that she, too, had a little prayer group where they periodically use some of my devotional material.

This led me to recall why I started writing these devotionals. While I had previously been receiving these daily devotionals for many years, in response to a comment I sent in, the editor e-mailed me in 2017 and encouraged me to write one myself. I accepted the challenge, and in December 2017, he published the first one. Since then, Robin has published more than fifty.

What do Lil, Virgie, Rosa, and Robin have in common? They are all encouragers. They have certainly encouraged me to keep going, and I have observed them encouraging many others.

The challenge for me, and probably for you also, is to share God's love with others and to encourage them.

2 Corinthians 5:7-10 – We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (NIV)

We don't know how long we will be here, but while we are still here, we should do His good works.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for allowing us to still be here. Help us to realize that we are here to do Your good works by encouraging others. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    One of your best.


    Thank you, Vincent!


    Keep them coming, Vincent.


    Please keep on encouraging us!


    Yes, Walter, keep writing! I read 2 of yours today.


    I second the motion. Keep going! God bless all that you do.


    And I use your work too!! Continue this ministry please. Keep well.


    Please keep on writing. I am daily encouraged by these devotionals.


    Thank you for today’s Devotional.
    I too often ask myself, why am I still here?


    You will not recognize my name, but I feel I know you through your helpful devotionals.
    I thoroughly do appreciate your devotional writings.


    Thanks for continuing to send me your devotionals. I thoroughly enjoy reading them. Poignant and very inspirational. Trusting you are doing well. God bless.


    Mr. Walter, we are so glad you didn’t pack it in. Your devotionals are a blessing to us. Keep them coming. God is using you in your home and in many lives. God bless you.


    Yes, and though I pray for all the PresbyCan writers, you are one I of 3 I pray for almost daily by name.
    Keep writing.


    Thank you. I have days when I want to go home to be with the Lord and my late husband. I have to go on. The Lord said, stay here and help others. It’s been nine years.


    Helps me, Vincent, as your words from God, passed along to us, ALWAYS DO. Thank God, YOU were not downstairs when that van drove through. Yes, the encouragement to write is always so welcome. As I encourage you today.


    Dear Mr. Walter,
    I too have been regularly blessed by your devotions.
    There is a thoughtfulness and depth and sincerity that shines out.
    So thank you!


    Hello Walter,
    I want to encourage you like Lil, Virgie, Rosa, and Robin to continue your good work, I look forward to reading them.
    May the good Lord continue to bless you.
    Stay safe.


    Dear Mr. Walter,
    I certainly know you are an encouragement to me. Thank you so much for these devotionals. You show all of us that the small encouragements that we all can do are so important.
    God bless and encourage you.


    Dear Mr. Walter,
    I, too, enjoy reading your devotionals, and have received so much good from them. Thank you for the gift that you share so widely with others.
    Wishing you many blessings.


    Dear Mr. Walter, I agree with all your friends as they encourage you to keep writing your Devotionals. I think you have enough to have a little book made and many more could enjoy and use your thoughts and prayers to help in their study groups. Keep writing as I always enjoy your personal faith stories.


    Hello Mr. Walter — I also really enjoy reading your devotionals, so please don’t stop writing. I lost my husband 4 years ago and miss him a lot. I have often asked God why him and not me? I feel that it should have been me that got cancer and passed, but only God knows what the plan is for us. Like you said: “our work isn’t completed yet”. Blessings.


    Hello
    What a blessing you are!!! I find when you encourage someone it is like planting a seed and then watching it grow little by little and hopefully grow into what God had planned from the beginning.
    Thank you for being an encouragement also and for your beautiful devotionals.
    God bless.


    I live in Texas. I am getting ready to go see my mom for the first time in months due to Covid. The assisted living said I can visit on the porch. I’ll take it. It’s been three months. Thank you for your devotional this morning. I just wanted you to know it was appreciated way down here.
    (Texas)


    I read the PresbyCan devotionals first thing in the morning and am always encouraged by your ‘writings from your heart.’ I have some friends that don’t have internet, so they feel disconnected from our church family when we have to be apart. They appreciate when I read the devotionals over the phone to them. Keep on writing, Mr. Walter. You are a blessing to so many others who are encouraged by your messages of faith.


    Dear Vincent,
    I am glad you are surrounded by encouragers because I appreciate your devotionals immensely. My mom felt like you once my dad passed away, but she soldiered on for three more healthy years and her family were most grateful. My parents both had great faith in God as you do and your encouragers. Keep blessing us with good devotionals. Thank you.


    Your early encouragers were so right, Vincent! Your devotionals have a huge impact on many people. They are spiritual food for thought which so many of us need, especially now. I started saving some of the devotionals that I hope to use with my older Sunday School students for discussions when we get back together. Also, I share them with family and friends in times of need. Thanks so much and God bless you and your early encouragers especially Robin!


    Greetings in the name of Jesus,
    Thank you very much for this devotion. Made me not take for granted everyday. Am alive and full of good health.
    God bless and keep you healthy while you are still on earth to continue inspiring the daily devotion fraternity.
    (Kenya)


    Dear Vincent,
    Greetings of the day.
    I just want to take this opportunity to thank you very much for writing these incredible inspirational devotions. They bring warmth and reminders every time.
    God Bless you richly.
    Be safe and enjoy the sunshine.


    Mr. Walter
    As the others encouraged you to continue writing, I too am thankful for these morning devotionals.
    You have a unique style which I usually recognize as soon as I start reading. I know I will be smiling and challenged by the time I have finished.
    Thank you for using the gift God gave you and making a difference in lives.
    Wishing you a blessed day.


    Dear Mr. Walters,
    I do understand you wanting to be with your wife of more than 60 years. A true tribute to a wonderful marriage. I’m sure you must miss her terribly.
    However, I and I am sure many others enjoy your daily Devotionals. When you are feeling down, please try and remember all the people who enjoy your stories, Bible passages and prayers You are important to those of us who read the daily Devotionals.


    Dear Vincent, I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose your life partner of 60 years. My own partner died after only 21 years of togetherness and I still miss him terribly. I can also relate to your “wanting to join your wife” after her passing. As you say, however, God still has plans for both of us. Your devotionals are truly, like no other. They are very down to earth and motivating. This is at least part of the ministry that God has placed on your heart. Keep writing my friend, and may God richly bless you especially today.


    Wow Walter! How inspiring!
    When my husband (of only 5 decades) died just over a year ago, I also expressed a desire to be with the Lord and absent from this body! As in your example, I was told that God wasn’t finished with me yet!
    How encouraging for you that people are using your devotionals for discussion groups! You’ve been blessed to be a blessing!
    Thanks for sharing!


    Greetings Vince,
    Another great devotional Vince! I’m glad to hear you were encouraged to write devotionals as your writings are very purposeful and always express the importance of following our Lord and Saviour. God definitely lays out plans for our life here and plans for when it is time to call us back to Him and while we are here, we need to do good works in His name.
    Blessings as you continue to write devotionals.
    (B.C.)


    Good Morning. This reading touched me in many ways. In my late twenties I was physically hit by a car, walking across the street. It made me recall so much of that time and wondered why I’m here? I know the Lord isn’t finished with me yet. As I read on the tears fell down my face as I read about your wife. I know how that feels as my husband died in front of me and how lonely I feel without him. I know it was a blessing for him, but for me I often have my times of loneliness, but I say, “the Lord isn’t finished with me yet”.
    Thank you for writing this.


    Vince, Thank you so much for your encouragement and testimony of being a faithful witness. I am so thankful that my wife and I can celebrate 66 years of marriage by the grace of God. We are so blessed and yet life can be a struggle at times. Keep on encouraging others with your devotionals and testimonies. It is great to know about people like you in Canada. Several years ago, a 95-year-old lady got me started with PresbyCan and it has been a favorite since that time. She has gone on to glory, but I praise the Lord for her encouragement. Blessings.


    Dear Mr. Walter, thank you for the encouraging devotion. I forwarded it to two others. I believe we need to be encouragers. And I do appreciate the encouragers in my life. My prayer is to be encouraging to everyone I meet.
    I’ll be glad when this pandemic is over. I miss seeing ppl and the hugs and encouraging words both giving and taking.
    I would love to read your first devotion of Dec 2017. Bless you for continuing to write devotions and especially sharing your life experiences.
    Blessings and good health.
    (SC)


    Good morning Vince. I certainly understand Lil, Virgie, Rosa, and Robin. I too greatly enjoy your devotionals. Your messages always resonate with me, so thank you. Your messages are being read in many, many places.
    I am where you were at in 2017. I enjoy reading the devotionals daily but have not had the courage to try my hand at it. Like yourself, the Editor kindly reached out to me as well, but somehow, I just don’t feel I have a compelling enough story to tell.
    May God continue to bless you richly,
    (QC)


    Good morning, Mr. Walter,
    Sometimes I think I’m in this boat alone. There are quite a few of us that would have like to have had the chance to retire with our spouses. I didn’t get that opportunity. Thank you for sharing the loss of your wife. I lost my husband of 40 years suddenly. We didn’t get to retire.
    He worked till the day he died. I would love to join him now. Every day is a day closer to being with him. I wonder why I am here, too. The passion for anything is gone.
    Your encouragement will carry me through this morning.
    Thank you, Mr. Walter. Let’s hold our spirits up, looking forward to the day with get to be with our Lord.


    Mr. Walter,
    I know it is your devotional before I read your name at the end. It is very special. It sounds to me that you have some pretty kind and caring people working in your home who also appreciate you.
    As an older person with friends and family living in different ways and places than we used to, we need your encouragement to continue to enjoy the little things that we still have. Covid 19 has made it even harder to see each other and it is hard. I think of my friends that I cannot see at present. It makes me feel good to know that they, too, are reading the same Devotionals as I. It makes me smile. We all need more smiles.
    Thank-you so much
    (BC)


    Vince, you are in our opinion the best writer on Presbycan and we always watch for your devotionals. Your dear wife whom of course I also knew, would want you to keep going. Your appointed time will come but keep going Vince till the end of the race. God is using you even yet.
    I know those feelings of wanting to join those who have gone on before with none of my family of origin left for many years now, but so often my mind senses their pride in how I have kept going. I hope I never lose a child like you did but we lost our 1st grandchild.
    I would encourage you to keep running the race of life knowing God has and still is using you.
    With thankfulness for you.


    Good morning, Vince!
    I have just read your devotional this morning along with my own time with the Lord. I’m writing to thank you for these words of encouragement. They resonated with me too. How I miss my husband during these days of isolation!
    But that is not what I wrote primarily to say. I want you to know how much I have appreciated your encouraging words to my family down through the years as we faced many joys and sorrows! I have always been thankful to you for them. And yes, you are still here to deliver them right now where God has placed you!
    Thank you once again for the reminder that God’s work will be complete in His time and in the meantime, we can be agents of change in someone’s life by continuing the work of encouraging.
    Blessings to you each day.


    Mr. Walters,
    Thank you for your devotional. I was given a message on Facebook by a person that I am an inspiration to others. It was lovely to hear. I have been asking God for the last twenty years Of dealing with a chronic painful illness.”. What is my purpose, stuck here in my home, how can I help anyone?”
    I write use to devotionals and poetry but due to another issue health wise, I seem to have lost some of those brain cells. But, somehow with what I am sharing on fb. I have touched a number of folks that otherwise I would have had no contact with. So, like you… keep doing your writing and sharing of spirit… and let God use us to touch others through words he gives our hearts.
    Lovely to hear how long you were married. My husband and I will be 47 yrs. soon.
    stay safe.


    Thank you, Vincent, for your devotion.
    You hit the nail on the head; I almost died many times in my careless life. And each time it made me turn from that experience to live a better life. But little did I realize that God had plans for me.
    I was a poor and struggling person who failed to get into university. But I struggled on; and with blessings I lived a decent family life, now with Grandkids.
    I tried to live up to my end of His covenant with me and He had me doing all kinds of things after I retired from my salaried job.
    Then my career with the church as an Elder took off.
    It was the busiest years of my life.
    That was all a blessing that I didn’t deserve.
    So, anyone will do His will and fit into His plans; no matter how weak or poor you are.
    Now I mainly teach Sunday School; and the course that we offer to people who ask to be baptized or to be confirmed.
    It is such a blessing to be able to serve.
    The only reward is the joy I have in doing His will.
    Bless you Vincent for all your submissions to the daily devotion.
    Keep up this good work, it’s your gift.
    (Quebec)


    Let me join your group of encouragers.
    Thank you.


    Dear Vincent Walter,
    Yes, keep writing, Keep writing for as long as God gives you the inspiration and ability.
    Thank you for the depth of spirituality you write with. Thank you for the Biblical orientation of your devotions.


    So appropriate! As I received a call that a dear 94-year-old friend was not eating after surgery and was in serious trouble.
    I immediately called her and as we have a special bond, do think she realized that she had to start nibbling.
    I didn’t lecture but encouraged her. I said someone sent that message that she needed a lift. I pray it is in progress.
    I enjoy your messages very much. Keep writing for sure.
    Blessings.


    We won’t know, till we are face to face with our Faithful Savior, all the things our God has done through us. But He, just at the right time, often bolsters us, through other people. A purpose He gives to them. I’m so eager to tell many people, when I live in Heaven, of how they influenced me in my Spiritual journey by carrying out God’s will to bless me. Some, would have no idea they were of help. Actually, none of God’s children have no knowledge of all the ways He has used them. Remember what Scripture reveals through a parable: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21.

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